# Monday, 28 July 2014

Did you know that there is a Time Clock Processing function in Elliott?  The Time Clock Processing function was introduced in Elliott V7.5.  It was added because we needed to be able to track real time labor costs in Work Order Plus. While we were at it, we implemented two versions: one that was specific for Work Order Plus to keep track of operators, work orders and operations; and another version that simply tracks the user entering and leaving the office, just as a physical time clock would do for all employees. Not a lot of users are aware that a generic time clock system exists in Elliott as a standard feature since its inception in Elliott 7.5.

The Elliott generic time clock is simple to set up and use.  Instead of tracking time using the Elliott user ID, the time clock system tracks by Operator ID.  Each employee in the company is set up as an Operator.  In the Operator file setup feature, we allow you to optionally specify the Employee ID so the time clock data can interface with the Elliott Payroll Module. Because we know that many Elliott users utilize a third-party payroll processor, we also support exporting time clock data to a CSV file so it can be easily integrated with a third-party payroll processor, such as ADP.

The Time Clock Processing function really shines when you start to use it with the Work Order Plus module.  The Time Clock system in Work Order Plus can be further broken down into three versions:

  • Tracking Time by Work Order: This is mostly for a shop foreman reporting to the time clock system when a work order operation starts and ends.
  • Tracking Time by Work Center: This is mostly for the assembly line worker signing in and out of a work center.  To simplify the user interface, an assembly line work order does not need to report against the work order. The time is calculated and shared automatically by the work order that’s processed through the work center.  
  • Tracking Time by Department: This is mostly for a foreman who is in charge of multiple CNC machines. Usually, each CNC machine is set up as a work center.  A group of CNC machines is set up as a department.  The time of the foreman in charge of the department is shared among multiple work orders processed by the department.

Unlike the legacy Shop Floor Control and Labor Performance Module, in which you have to manually report the labor information operation by operation, Work Order Plus makes collecting of labor information much easier than before through the new Time Clock System. If you are still using the Shop Floor Control and Labor Performance module, we suggest that you look into our new Work Order Plus.

If you are not a manufacturer, we recommend that you look at our generic Time Clock System, which is a standard feature in Elliott versions 7.5 and later.  To learn more about this Elliott feature, call us at 909-598-9019 or e-mail us at sales@netcellent.com.  We look forward to speaking with you!

Monday, 28 July 2014 09:34:47 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] -

# Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The developers of Elliott Version 8 improved system security by moving all programs and executable files to the BIN folder and sub folders.  For example, Elliott V8 does not read and execute any programs from the <root> or PROGRAMS sub folder.  Because of this, we only need to grant minimum rights to users for the Elliott <root> directory. This greatly simplifies the NTFS configuration in order to secure Elliott V8. Elliott <root> folder refers to the location on your computer where Elliott V8 is installed, such as “M:\Ellliott8.”

The following table illustrates the suggested user NTFS rights to Elliott V8 folders and files.
  It may look complicated, but it is actually much simpler than Elliott V7.  Keep in mind that Elliott V8 must be backward compatible with Elliott V7.  If you are running Elliott V7 and V8 side by side, then you can’t apply the security suggestions below because that will render Elliott V7 inoperable.

Before you tie down the NTFS security to your Elliott folder, make sure your PSQL engine’s security is set to “mixed” mode, which means the user does not need to have NTFS rights to a file before he/she can access that PSQL database file.
  By configuring the PSQL engine to use “mixed” mode security, you can eliminate the user’s read/modify rights from the DATA folder and greatly enhance your database security.

Following this table are sample screens showing how to grant “Traverse/List Folder,” “Modify” and “Read/Execute” rights.

 

 <root>/Sub Folders

Suggested Users Right

Suggested Admin Users Right

Comment

<root>

Traverse/List Folder (see example below)

Full Right

This is the root directory, such as M:\Elliott7 or F:\Elliott8.  Grant user minimum rights to Traverse/List Folder so user can at least see the Elliott folder structure, which is required by Elliott to operate correctly.

DATA

Inherited from root

Inherited from root

This includes DATA, DATA_?? and TUTORIAL sub folders.

DATA\*.DAT

Modify (see example below)

Inherited from root

*.DAT files need to be separated out to give modification rights because these are not files handled by PSQL engines.

BIN

Read/Execute (see example below)

Inherited from root

All Elliott executable programs are now under the BIN folder.  Give Read/Execute rights to this folder and sub folders.

REPORTS

Inherited from root; or Read/Execute

Inherited from root

Elliott V8 reports will reside in this folder and sub folders. Users will have full rights to the report created by him/her since the user is the creator/owner of the report.  If a user needs to be able to see other user’s reports, then you will give that user Read/Execute rights.

LOG

Modify

Inherited from root

Give users modify rights so they can write to the log files.

DDF40

Read/Execute

Inherited from root

This includes PSQL database definition files and is used when a new table is created.

MACRO

Read/Execute

Inherited from root

Give user read/execute rights to this folder so he/she can use the Elliott Macro function.

Other Misc. Links Folders

Depend

Inherited from root

These are default links folders under Elliott <root> directory.  Give users the proper rights to these folders so they can access the links function.

Other Files

Depend

Inherited from root

Includes other files, such as the image file for printing laser forms.  Users need read/execute rights to these files.



Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:01:44 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] -

# Tuesday, 18 March 2014

One of the significant changes in Elliott Version 8 is the improved e-mail feature. Version 8 e-mail now supports both MAPI and SMTP.  SMTP is an industry standard e-mail protocol and was introduced as the preferred e-mail protocol in Version 8.  You also have the option of using the traditional MAPI protocol convention supported with previous 7.x versions of Elliott.

The biggest reason for supporting SMTP in Elliott V8 is due to Outlook Enhanced Security. Because most e-mail viruses are implemented based on MAPI technology, Microsoft decided to stop these viruses by introducing Outlook Enhanced Security.
  As a result, when any program -- including Elliott V7.X -- tries to send e-mail with a MAPI interface through your desktop Outlook, you will see a message that “another program is trying to send e-mail on your behalf,” and you’ll be asked if you wish to let this e-mail proceed. While this is an effective solution to block viruses, it also renders Elliott’s mass e-mail or events useless.  There are ways to address this problem, but they tend to be technically challenging. A lot of Elliott users did not take advantage of Elliott’s e-mailing capability for this reason.

On the other hand, e-mail through SMTP does not have the same limitation as MAPI.
  Therefore, supporting SMTP in Elliott V8 is the key to unlocking Elliott’s e-mail capabilities.  We are, however, continuing to support MAPI.  If you’re able to resolve the technical challenges involved in using MAPI, you’ll find that there are certain advantages that it presents.  For example, sent MAPI e-mails will show up in your e-mail outbox, while they won’t with SMTP.  In addition, we have found that certain hosted e-mail service providers do not allow related e-mails through SMTP.

To choose whether you’ll use SMTP or MAPI for sending e-mails in Elliott, you can go to your Elliott V8 installation direction <root>\BIN folder and run the EL800CF.EXE program, which will allow you to make an Elliott system configuration change.
  (See the example below.)

Default e-mail settings are configured through EL800CF.EXE, but each individual user can choose to override the default setting by using the Setup/Preference feature in the software.

Here are additional e-mailing features in Elliott Version 8:

  • Ability to send HTML e-mail in Mass Email function
  • With SMTP, allows user to automatically “BCC” the sender
  • With SMTP, provides central log of all Elliott-generated e-mails for auditing purposes
  • Provides the option to disable individual users from sending e-mail in Elliott
Elliott V8 database is compatible with Elliott V7.5.  This means that you can run Elliott V8 and V7.5 side by side with no conflict.  There is no risk involved in starting to use Elliott V8.  Begin exploring the new e-mail ability in Elliott V8 today! We are happy to help you upgrade to V8. Once you do that, we know you’ll be glad you did!  For more information, call us at 909-598-9019 or e-mail us at sales@netcellent.com.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 09:13:35 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] -

# Monday, 03 March 2014

Studies have shown that employees who work at home are actually more productive than those working in the office.  In addition to increased productivity, working from home gives employees more flexibility, especially if they have children or ailing elders to care for.

People who work at home do not experience office distractions.
  They start work earlier, take shorter breaks and work until the end of the day.  They are fresher since they don’t have to commute to work.  In addition, studies have shown that more people look at the possibility of working at home as one of the reasons for accepting future job offers.  Offering employees the opportunity to telecommute shines a positive light on a company.  It means the company is flexible and willing to do what it takes to recruit and retain top talent.  It is really a win-win-win solution for the employee, employers and the society.

So if telecommuting offers so many benefits for everyone, then why did some well-known companies like HP, Yahoo, and Best Buys reverse their telecommuting policies in 2013?
  The answer is obvious. They ran into problems with managing their telecommuting employees. The truth is companies should not just jump into the telecommuting bandwagon without taking the proper steps first. One of critical requirements is performance measurement. Does the company have proper performance measurements in place to measure employees regardless of whether an employee is working in the office or remotely?

It’s difficult to measure employee performance in many positions.
  Some of them can be measured, but may take a long time and even so, may be difficult to quantify.  When it comes to positions for which performance is difficult to measure, many managers base their evaluation of how well employees are performing on whether they show up in the office on time or look as if as if they are busy working in their cubicles.  If that is the case, how are the managers going to measure their remote workers’ performance?  This is the type of problem that Yahoo, Best Buys and HP ran into, which caused them to reverse their telecommuting policies.

MySammy is a “Cloud”- based employee productivity measurement solution that will help companies to measure how employees spend their time in front of their computers regardless of where they’re working -- whether in the office or a thousand miles away. It is not meant to replace other performance measurements that managers should work hard to establish.
  But it is an easy solution if those performance measurements are not well established or if the results take a long time to see.  With MySammy, management will quickly know if their telecommuters are putting in their hours or not.

The solution will not only give companies a quantifiable time measurement, but also more flexibility to reach out and recruit more talented remote workers.  If you are interested in learning more about MySammy, visit the website at 
http://www.mysammy.com  

Monday, 03 March 2014 08:28:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0] -

# Monday, 27 January 2014

The business landscape has changed dramatically over the past 6 years.  The economy is moving away from the days of excess consumption to smarter consumption by consumers.  They are becoming smarter with their purchases, so businesses need to adapt to this change in the demand of goods.

Effective inventory management will play a key role for the long-term survival of many businesses.
  The companies that are most efficient with their operations will survive this downturn and prosper in the upturn. Companies need to carefully evaluate their current inventories, identify the slow-moving items and use promotional strategies to sell them quickly.  In addition, they need to identify those items that are in demand and keep them on order with the suppliers and manufacturers so they will have the most popular products on hand to sell to their customers.  

To achieve this, they need quantifiable data to know which items are in the highest demand.
  Businesses need to be aware that demand is different than sales when they do inventory forecasting.  Most ERP systems can tell you which item has the highest sales, but not necessarily the highest demand. Elliott Business Software’s Customer Wish List function can help businesses identify the top-demand items.  This information can also be integrated with the company website(s) to expand their digital business intelligence in this Internet age. 

A sudden drop in demand could leave businesses holding a large amount of excess inventory.
  To effectively manage and maintain inventory has become a top priority for many businesses.  Elliott Business Software has a built-in warehouse management solution to help you manage your inventory. 

To learn more, contact us at 909-598-9019 or e-mail us at
sales@netcellent.com.

Monday, 27 January 2014 11:12:34 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0] -

# Monday, 23 December 2013

Many people have asked if there is a 64-bit version of Elliott Business Software.  The short answer is “not at this moment.”  The long answer is, “Elliott only supports 32 bits at this moment, but it doesn’t really make any difference.” Even though Elliott is a 32-bit application, it will support both a 32-bit and 64-bit OS environment, so you are free to choose your favorite Windows OS version. Another common question is will Elliott run slower because it is a 32-bit application?  The answer is no.  Even if we introduce an Elliott 64-bit version, it will not run any faster than the current 32-bit version.

A common misnomer is that a 64-bit application is faster than a 32-bit version. This really depends on a number of different factors. The real benefit of a 64-bit application is when the application needs to access a large amount of memory. The maximum amount of memory that a 32-bit application can access is 2GB of RAM.
  Larger applications, like CAD/CAM or a database server, for example, may require accessing memory amounts beyond 2 GB and, therefore, would benefit from a 64-bit version. A typical Elliott session requires between 10 MB to 30 MB of RAM (Random Access Memory), so it makes no difference with regard to performance whether Elliott is a 32-bit or 64-bit application.  On the other hand, a 64-bit version of Elliott will not run on a 32-bit OS environment.  To provide Elliott in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions is a waste of our resources with no real benefit to our customers.

Most of the time, Elliott’s performance is determined by the database PSQL server’s performance.
  If you need to purchase a database server, we recommend buying a 64-bit server with a PSQL 11 64-bit engine.  This can significantly increase your database performance and, therefore, increase Elliott’s performance.

On the workstation side, if you do choose a 64-bit workstation OS, then you should be aware that Elliott 7.x may have an issue with 64-bit Outlook.
  When you try to send e-mail through Elliott 7.x, it goes through a MAPI interface, and does not support a 32- to 64-bit conversion.  On the other hand, in Elliott 8.x, we support SMTP protocol and, therefore, resolve the e-mail issues regardless of whether you use a 32- or 64-bit workstation.  This is one more reason, among many others, why you should upgrade to Elliott 8.x.

If you have any questions regarding how to run Elliott in a 32- or 64-bit environment, contact us anytime at 909-598-9019 or e-mail us at
sales@netcellent.com for more information.

Monday, 23 December 2013 14:20:09 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0] -

# Monday, 25 November 2013

The Elliott Business Software Version 8 Spooled Report function has been significantly enhanced.   We mentioned in our previous post that V8 can support more than 99 spooled reports, and the spooled file naming convention has been changed in order to accommodate this expanded capacity.  This means you do not need to perform the archive function when a particular type of spooled report total is approaching 99.  In addition, the spooled reports in V8 have been moved out of the DATA folder to a newly created REPORTS folder.  This will make it easier if you wish to lock down your DATA directory NTFS security.

Recently, the spooled report function has been further enhanced.  Now, when a spooled report file is created, it will be in a zip format.  This has two major benefits:

  • Saving Disk Storage Space: The spooled report zip file format only takes up 10% of the original spooled report file size.  This results in a significant saving of disk storage space.  It also makes backup of the Elliott directory faster.  In Elliott V8, we allow you to convert your Elliott 7.5 spooled reports to this new zip file format, resulting in a significant saving of disk space for your history archive.
  • Enhanced Security: Each spooled reports zip file created in V8 is encrypted with a password.  The password is only known to the Elliott system.  That is to say, any person who has OS level admin security  can access the zip file but cannot unzip the file to see the report’s contents.  This can prevent sensitive financial statements or payroll information, for example, from being viewed by a non-authorized employee.  The only way to see the spooled report zip file content is through the Elliott Spooled Report manager with the appropriate level of security access.
If you are interested in participating in the Elliott V8 beta release, let us know and we can help you install it on your system.  Call us at 909-598-9019 or email us at sales@netcellent.com for more information.

Monday, 25 November 2013 09:17:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0] -

# Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Elliott Business Software Version 8 introduces a new and more efficient way in which help contents are retrieved and displayed.  In previous versions of Elliott, the help contents were retrieved and displayed locally.  This method posed several problems: (1) When we updated the help contents, users had to download updates in order to see the new contents; (2) The technique we chose to display the help content is not compatible with Windows 7.

Because of that, we began searching for a better way to display help contents when we designed our ERP software, Elliott V8.  As a result, all help contents are now displayed through a Web browser in Elliott V8.  The help contents are centrally located and reside on Netcellent’s Web server.  This means we can provide our customers with up-to-date contents as soon as we finish the new documentation.  In addition, as long as you can access the www.elliott.com website in a browser, you will be able to access the Elliott help contents.  Currently, we are investing major resources to update the Elliott V8 documentation. This is another reason you should consider upgrading to Elliott V8.

Elliott Business Software is a cost-effective ERP solution that is affordable for any small- to medium-size business. It is perfect for general accounting, wholesale distribution and manufacturing. It also has excellent capabilities that assist the import export business and petroleum marketers/fuel distributors.  It provides advance serial number tracking, which is ideal for many companies, as well as many other features.

If you are interested in participating in the Elliott Version 8 beta release, let us know and we can help you install it on your system.  You can call us at 909-598-9019 or email us at sales@netcellent.com.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 10:37:52 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] -

# Monday, 23 September 2013

There have been significant system changes in Elliott Version 8.  One of the changes is the improvement to printing and archiving reports.  Version 8 supports multiple report destinations.  You can specify any combinations of simultaneous outputs:  printer, screen, disk, defer, or email.  There is a new tabbed dialog interface for the report output options window. 

The deferred reports feature has also been improved.  You have the option to specify an email to be sent with the report attached when done.  It also offers a run now option, which spools to disk immediately as background task.  The process runs on deferred reports machine for fastest throughput.  This frees the user to continue working while the report is processing.  There is an optional user email notification when the report is done.  

If you are interested in participating in the Elliott Version 8 beta release, let us know and we can help you install it on your system.  You can call us at 909-598-9019 or email us at sales@netcellent.com.

Monday, 23 September 2013 09:21:55 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] -

# Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Elliott Version 8 will soon in be in general release.  We highly recommend you give Version 8 a test drive.

 

Elliott Version 8 introduces a new and convenient way of handling drill-down screens.  For example, in the Stock Status Inquiry screen you can hold down the Control key and press the appropriate function key for ATP Inquiry and the ATP data will open in a separate process window.  This will allow you to open as many drill-down screens as you wish and make it easier for side-by-side comparisons.

 

From the ATP Inquiry screen you can further drill down to the Sales Order, Purchase Order or Work Order Inquiry screens.  From the Work Order Inquiry screen you can drill down to the Stock Status Inquiry for the components, which was not available in previous version due to a recursive limitation.  Notes, Attributes, and eContacts also support the new drill-down screens in Elliott Version 8.

 

If you are interested in participating in the Elliott Version 8 beta release, let us know and we can help you install it on your system.  Running Elliott Version 8 has minimal risk and several sizable Elliott users have already converted to Version 8.  You can call us at 909-598-9019 or email us at sales@netcellent.com.

 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013 11:44:15 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] -

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